The New Year has come and gone and you in your typical procrastinating fashion have yet to follow up on your resolution to acquire some sort of love life. It's time to put yourself out there, but you still hesitate. Nebulous fears still keep you from posting a profile on one of the many web sites that promise you a lifetime of contentment with your soul mate. What if my friends find out, or my co-workers? What if I meet a pervert, or a stalker? What if someone I already know finds me online?
The answer to all these questions is, don't worry about it. What if your friends find out? How are they doing at finding you love? If they're like my friends, the answer is lousy. They're all too busy having sex with each other to bother helping you out of the mire of unwanted celibacy. If all your friends are married, all the people they know are married as well. If your friends are single, there's usually a good reason.
Co-workers are even less of a concern. They already know you're not getting laid. If they wanted to volunteer their services to ameliorate your longings, you'd know it by now. If you are frightened by the prospect of one of them making fun of you if they find you searching for a relationship on the Internet, ask them what they were doing looking there anyway? Maybe the same thing?
Perverts exist everywhere, from gorgeous, sternly feminist intellectuals who nonetheless like to be handcuffed and spanked to football coaches who live to lick your toes. You might enjoy meeting these people. If you don't, they won't enjoy you, and will conveniently disappear from your life forever.
Stalkers never want to disappear, but all dating sites have options to block them. You're not likely to invite someone home for a first date. If you're like me, it's because you don't want to invest the energy cleaning up the squalid bachelor mess you inhabit before finding out if you want to bother with a second date. If you're an average cautious person, it's because you care about who knows where you live.
What if somebody you already know finds you online? Ideally, they'll realize they were a fool for ignoring you so far, and your secret desire to unite with them will be fulfilled. However, this is unlikely to happen. If you are not already aware that there are seven and a half billion people you don't know on this planet, online dating will help you realize it. Not all of the billions have an Internet connection, but most of the English-speaking ones do. I'm always looking for people I know, or whom I've dated non-cyberly. Haven't seen one yet.